Green Lantern/Red Lanterns #28 Flip Book Review
This month’s issues of Green Lantern and Red Lanterns is featured in one double-sized flipbook issue, all for the price of one. We like two-fers, and so do you. What better way to treat our viewers than with a double-sized review?
First, I have to commend DC for releasing essentially two issues for only $2.99. Compare that to Marvel (how could we avoid it?), whose titles mostly go for $3.99 a piece, this is certainly one in the win column for DC. Because of this, Max Level Geek is giving Green Lantern/Red Lanterns #28 the best value comic of the week honors. But does the quality match up?
Green Lantern #28: Red Alert Part 1 of 2
The first half of this two-parter begins in Green Lantern. The story begins in space sector 3014, where Green Lanterns Barreer and Lok are frantically trying to make contact with their fellow Corpsmen as various sector houses are under attack. Their plans are cut short when they run into and capture a mysterious Red Lantern. They find their way back to Mogo, where Hal is deputizing a group of ex-cons to aid in their resistance against the Durlans.
In this issue we see writer Robert Venditti (or V-Ditti as fans like to call him) really explore these characters further. He allows these characters to interact and, through expertly written dialogue, examines the impact of all the things that have taken place since Lights Out. We see how each of these characters have changed since the destruction of Oa and the realizations that Relic brought.
We see Hal still uncomfortable in his leadership role, but figuring it out as he goes. The journey hasn’t always been easy. Since he’s become Corps leader, we’ve seen him make various mistakes and, because of them, things for the Corps have gone from bad to worse. Venditti uses this to make Hal a relatable character. This is important considering the stagnation that many A-List superheroes can face with decades of character development. There is a universality to Hal’s current struggles. We can all understand the weight of responsibilities, especially those which we didn’t ask for.
As for the art, Billy Tan’s work is as solid is ever. One of his great strengths in this series has been his consistency. His work throughout these pages evolves a bit – body parts seem askew in different panels, but it all goes with his “scratchy” style. The real skill in his work is with his framing of scenes, his attention to detail, and his expressions, which are decidedly understated.
I like how Venditti’s storytelling is much more character driven and reflective than Green Lantern was in the past. It takes it’s time. Venditti looks at the mythology through a sociological lense.
With Lights Out we saw him introduce and examine the environmental impact that the Lanterns have on the universe. Even now, he seems to ask the question: is the existence of the Corps really necessary anymore? These are things that the previous run would never really consider. So it’s refreshing to see this book become more pensive and introspective with Venditti at the helm.
That introspection is demonstrated in the way these characters interact too – with the Corps turning to past enemies for help and with Saint Walker, the sole Blue Lantern, losing all hope in the battle of light. Things have never looked worse for the Corps, and as a reader, I couldn’t be more excited!
Red Lanterns #28: Red Alert Part 2 of 2
This issue picks up with Red Lanterns Guy, Skallox and Zillius Zox fighting off a villain on earth who calls herself the Shadow Thief. The story cuts back and forth between Guy and Atrocitus, who has Bleez and Rankorr in a tough spot. Guy, Skallox and Zox are able to take down their foe and travel back to their home planet of Ysmault, where they run into a trio of Green Lanterns and our story comes full circle.
Green Lanterns Hal, Iolande and Gorin-Sunn are there to ask the Reds about their new prisoner, captured earlier in Part 1 of the story. They soon all come to realize this captive is also a Kryptonian (but we, as readers, all know this to be Supergirl!).
Red Lantern’s #28 feels a bit uneven with the story switching back and forth between Atrocitus and Guy. With a crossover story of this nature, it would have benefited the writer to keep things simple. But it’s also apparent the type of conflict Soule is preparing us for. He’s been teasing the return of Atrocitus for quite a while and now we are seeing him back to full power, ever closer to taking back his spot as Red Lantern Corps leader from Guy.
Overall, Soule writes another wonderful issue of Red Lanterns. He makes it fun, while keeping his characters interesting and compelling. Guy Gardner has some serious depth and likability to him under Soule’s guidance. That’s something that, previously, seemed nearly impossible to pull off.
Alessandro Vitti delivers well enough on art duties. His harsh lines suit Red Lanterns well. These characters are gritty and mean and Vitti knows just how to draw them that way.
Writer Charles Soule handles these characters well. He’s played the role of “fixer” for both Marvel (with Thunderbolts) and now DC (with Red Lanterns), taking failing books and breathing new life into them. He’s become a fan favorite and is steadily creating a big name for himself in the industry. But for now, let us enjoy having top level talent on a smaller book like Red Lanterns.